Jun 8, 2018

Update from the Recent Meeting of IEC TC106 and ICES TC34 in Paris

Experts of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee (TC) 106 and the International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (ICES) TC34 continued their rapid pace on the formulation of standards for electromagnetic (EM) exposure assessment. IEC TC106 and ICES TC34 met jointly to draft EM exposure assessment standards in Paris from June 4‒7, 2018. The meeting was graciously hosted by French regulatory agency Agence Nationale des Frequencies (ANFR). Following the completion of two significant specific absorption rate (SAR) standards, the focus of this meeting was on preparation for the realization of 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) communication technologies. Robust and high-quality exposure assessment are key to providing public confidence in the safety of these systems.

These Joint Working Groups (JWG), established by IEC and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) last year, have the mandate to complete two standards for exposure assessment of millimeter wave devices by 2020, when 5G rollout is expected. At millimeter wave frequencies (10‒300 GHz), the basic restriction (BR) for human exposure to EM fields is based on power density (PD). This is a new frontier in exposure assessment, and many questions are being asked about how best to assess PD in subjects in the near field of the radiating device. The IT'IS Foundation is among a group of leading researchers who are working on this issue. The committee drafts of both standards are scheduled to be completed at our next meeting in September in Stockholm.

At the Paris meeting, it was decided to use a performance-based approach for the 5G measurement standard. This open approach allows equipment makers to develop innovative measurement techniques, with strong emphasis on validation and verification applied to ensure high confidence in the results.

This was the inaugural meeting of IEEE Project Team 1528.7 to develop guidelines for IoT exposure assessment. The goal is to clarify testing requirements and procedures for a wide range of IoT use cases. The challenges being discussed include how to evaluate exposure from multiple IoT devices and from devices operating simultaneously at different frequency bands.

Within the last 12 months, IEC TC106 and ICES TC34 completed several exposure assessment standards:

  • IEC TR 62905: technical report (TR) for exposure evaluation of wireless power transfer (WPT) devices, such as electric vehicle chargers and wireless mobile phone charging pads
  • IEC PAS 63151: publicly available specification (PAS) on the use of vector measurement-based systems for SAR measurement of wireless devices
  • IEC/IEEE 62704-1: general requirements for the use of FDTD for numerical assessments of SAR
  • IEC/IEEE 62704-2: specific requirements for the use of FDTD for SAR calculations of vehicle-mounted antennas
  • IEC/IEEE 62704-3: specific requirements for the use of FDTD for SAR calculations of mobile phones

This fast pace of achievement shows no sign of slowing. The group also celebrated the completion of two draft standards that are being prepared for voting:

  • IEC/IEEE 62209-1528: SAR measurement standard for hand-held and body-worn wireless devices
  • IEC 62209-3: SAR measurement standard for vector measurement-based systems
IEC TC106 Meeting Paris June 2018

Members of IEC TC106 and ICES TC34 met in Paris from June 4‒7, 2018 to further discuss EM exposure assessment standardization.